NEWS | September 11, 2020

Comfort Commitment helps kids better cope with painful procedures in the hospital

UC Davis Children's Hospital launches new initiative this month

(SACRAMENTO)

Comfort and pain management have always been paramount in the child-centered approach to care at UC Davis Children’s Hospital. A new hospital initiative called Comfort Commitment launched this month, which provides a standardized approach to help pediatric patients better cope with distressing procedures and decrease pain and anxiety.

Child life specialist Emily McDaniel and nurse Carter Todd discuss comfort planning with a patient. Child life specialist Emily McDaniel and nurse Carter Todd discuss comfort planning with a patient.

It involves four steps to managing a patient’s comfort:

  • Ask the child and caregiver what they know and understand about the procedure
  • Share more about the procedure in simple terms using honest, age-appropriate language
  • Plan for the procedure, considering medicine and numbing options, refocusing techniques (toys, electronics, music), comfort positions (chest-to-chest for small children with their caregiver, swaddle for infants and young toddlers) and a calming environment (with lights, noises and words)
  • Follow the agreed-upon plan and ensure the child feels heard and modify comfort measures to meet the patient’s needs

“Our ultimate goal is to establish an environment where hospital experiences can be growth-promoting for children and families,” said child life specialist Emily McDaniel. “Through individualizing procedural comfort plans with this collaborative four-step process, we are consistently able to provide coping support and empower the child to customize a plan that uniquely meets their specific needs.”

The initiative was funded by a Children's Miracle Network at UC Davis grant. 

For more information, visit https://ucdavis.health/comfort.